Anderson Cooper to appear at UT Arlington for speaker series

MSS speakers 2013-14

Out CNN anchor Anderson Cooper is among the journalists who will appear at The University of Texas at Arlington this year for its 2013-14 Maverick Speakers Series.

The series includes one print and three broadcast journalists and the founder of ESPN.

Cooper appears on campus on Nov. 11. He began his career with Channel One News before moving to ABC and then CNN where he has hosted Anderson Cooper 360 since 2003. He has won several Emmys, a Peabody and two GLAAD Media awards.

The series opens with Jose Vargas, who’s openly gay,  on Sept. 24, who will speak about immigration rights. After winning a Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the Virginia Tech massacre in 2007, he revealed his undocumented immigration status.

On Oct. 24, Bill Rasmussen talks about founding ESPN in 1978.

Sanjay Gupta, CNN medical correspondent, speaks on Medicine and the Media on March 18.

NPR legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg, known for her concise and clear Supreme Court argument and decision summaries, closes out the series on April 8.

—  David Taffet

Peru jumps on South American equality bandwagon with proposed civil union law

Jose Vargas

A congressman from the ruling party in Peru will introduce a civil union bill in the legislature, according to the Chilean newspaper El Mercurio.

The bill would give same-sex couples the same economic rights as married opposite-sex couples but would not allow them to adopt.

The bill will be introduced by José Vargas of the APRA ruling party, but he will do so as an individual, not on behalf of his party in, to avoid jeopardizing the current government. He urged support from all political sides.

According to the website Living In Peru, the gay movement in Lima was surprised about the legislation and said Vargas acted on his own without consulting them. The community fears a civil union law could prevent marriage equality in the future.

Last week Argentina legalized same-sex marriage. Uruguay began debating upgrading its civil union law to marriage. A marriage law was introduced in the legislature in Paraguay, and Chile began debating civil unions.

Translation assistance by Miguel Flores.

—  David Taffet